Survey reveals almost half confess to not carrying out any vehicle maintenance checks ahead of winter


According to a survey carried out by the AA which involved questioning 2,000 motorists, drivers in the UK are not prepared for driving in wintry weather conditions, as almost half confess to not carrying out any vehicle maintenance checks ahead of winter.

Some one in six admitted that they’d suffered a break down in their car during the winter months because they hadn’t taken the time to check their vehicle over before the winter weather had arrived.

Motorists should check the battery life, tyre pressure, ensure there’s enough tread on the tyres and check the oil before driving in wintry conditions.

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Motorists in the UK not prepared for driving in wintry weather conditions. © Copyright John Brightley and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Altogether, 74% of those taking part in the survey thought that checking the battery before driving in the winter was not essential, despite the fact that dead batteries are the biggest cause of breakdowns in the winter.

Of the motorists answering questions, four in 10 had no idea how to adjust the height of the headlight beams, whilst one in six were unsure how they worked their high-beam headlights whilst driving.

Furthermore, a large number had no idea how to work their fog lights, whilst 40% hadn’t got a clue how to fill up with anti-freeze.

What the survey did discover and doesn’t really comes as a shock, is that one in seven said that driving in winter is much more difficult compared to driving during the summer months – one in 10 said they avoid driving at all during the winter months.

According to the UK Government, around 20% of the five million road accidents that occur each year on our roads are mainly down to the weather.

On a more positive note, 80% of motorists surveyed did know how to clear an icy windscreen, whilst 73% knew how to change windscreen washer fluid, however and quite alarming is the fact that one in 10 had no idea that using boiling water on a frozen window could end up in disaster!


Essential Maintenance Checks For Safe Winter Driving:

  • Check battery charge
  • Check tyre pressure and tyre tread
  • Check brake pads and discs
  • Top up anti-freeze and washer fluid
  • Look closely at your wiper blades
  • Check bulbs and keep lights and mirrors clean

Also, carry a winter emergency kit in your car during the winter months – this should include ice scraper and de-icer, torch and spare batteries, high visibility jacket, empty fuel can, jump leads, shovel, two reflective warning triangles, blankets, warm clothing, warm boots, first aid kit, road atlas, sunglasses and an in-car phone charger plus portable battery charger.


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